Amnesty International has announced it will advocate for a right to abortion after rape in the future. This resolution goes back to the campaign "Stop violence against women". Pro-lifers protest: The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Rafaele Martino, said Catholics could no longer support Amnesty in the future if the organization called for a "right to abortion". Amnesty points to extraordinary plight of women and positive feedback from Catholic circles.
Already at the Council Meeting in 2005, the organization decided to "carefully strengthen sexual and reproductive rights". Since then, there has been a discussion in the state organizations about whether a right to abortion is also part of the ie. The sections in England and New Zealand have spoken out in favor of this. Amnesty's German group won't advocate for a worldwide right to abortion. but it is being discussed "whether abortion, which is illegal in many countries, should be decriminalized," Amnesty Germany said. Radio Vatican spoke with Jurg Keller, Amnesty International's media officer in Switzerland:
"This is not a contradiction, we do not advocate the legalization of abortion. But we advocate that abortion should no longer be criminalized. We are concerned that women should not be penalized even more by not receiving appropriate medical services. This has a connection with the fact that we stand up for the right to health, that is also one of the human rights. In this context, the state has the responsibility to ensure the right of these women as well."
"The Church and Amnesty International are simply starting from very different positions. We are not a church organization, we are religiously, politically and economically completely independent of such influences. We work solely on the basis of human rights, and there are simply different positions there. We ame that these women have suffered extreme human rights violations and that they will suffer additional human rights violations if, for example, they are stigmatized by their village communities in Africa because they are accused of carrying the child of the enemy. This is a perverse logic, but it works there, when women are used as a weapon of war, so to speak. We then say: In this massive emergency for the woman, she should decide for herself what she can and cannot be responsible for."
So you are concerned about the suffering women?Jurg Keller: "I think it is enormously important that the difficult situation and the suffering of these women is also seen and not simply neglected by focusing this solely on the right to life of the child. The life of the child cannot be looked at without the right of the life of the women, and I think you just have to keep this suffering in mind and be aware that these women are getting into enormous mental hardships. In this situation, we must support them and enable them to make the decision that is right for them."
But the church says its commitment to the life of the child is not a special religious position, but universal.Jurg Keller: "This is of course the position of the Church, we can't discuss it, I think, because they have a completely different basis, we are aware of that, we can't change it either. We insist on human rights and, because of this situation, we come to a different position."
The relationship between the church and amnesty has always been very good, the cooperation close. In the meantime, however, the mood has become somewhat heated.Jurg Keller: "On the one hand, I think that this sentiment is also overstated. We get very few negative and very many positive reactions, especially from Catholic circles. On the other hand, I simply think that we have to live with the fact that we have different catches in this one position. But that does not mean – at least for us – that we are no longer working for religious freedom, but we will continue to do so and we would actually expect that our other human rights work, where we have a lot of agreement and common ground also with church circles, that we will continue to be supported in it."